Adelaide Country Duo Ella & Sienna: ‘A Music Career Isn’t Out Of Reach’

12 July 2023 | 10:56 am | Anna Rose

“It’s an entertainment industry, so if people like our music, we’re going to keep playing for them.”

Ella & Sienna

Ella & Sienna (Image: Supplied)

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From humble beginning busking on the streets of Adelaide, sisters Ella & Sienna have fast become a hot ticket in Australian Country music. Last year alone the duo took out ‘Most Popular Country Artist’ in the South Australian Music Awards, won Groundwater Kix Start Competition and NQ's Rock'n Country Reboot, not to mention landing in the Top 24 in series 11 of The Voice Australia.

Aged just 20 and 17 respectively, Ella and Sienna are adamant their relative youth isn’t a marker in how they make and deliver their music, though they acknowledge that their experience of being exposed to such opportunities at this time in their lives will shape their careers in future.

Ella and Sienna’s family will, of course, have had front row seats in the pair’s journey – from their fledgling interest in music, to their participation in The Voice Australia, right up to the release of their debut EP, Seven Ways to Say You’re Fine and becoming artists in their own right – the view today is that of professional women, not little girls jamming in their bedroom.

“Our parents have been on this journey with us ever since we started music, they’ve always been really supportive,” muses Sienna. “They took us to our first little busking sessions in and around the Adelaide Hills, so they’ve definitely seen us grow into the music thing.

“I think our friends, when they hear our music, they’re like ‘Oh my God, this sounds so professional, like you guys are actually musicians! But our parents are there with us every step of the way so it’s not as shocking to them.”

Sharing a similar sentiment, Ella adds, “It’s good for our family and friends to see that a music career isn’t so far and out of reach. I always thought ‘One in a billion [chance] to become a musician’ but you can play gigs in your hometown and do little tours and travel around and that still counts as a “successful” musician. I think it’s good to see that progression.”

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Adding another feather to their cap of maturity, both sisters elaborate on Sienna’s last remark, attesting to the happiness that comes from performance experience and opportunity as another cursor for being a successful musician.

“With music, one thing we do it for is the song writing, and to be able to connect to other people through or songs,” says Sienna. “It’s an entertainment industry, so if people like our music, we’re going to keep playing for them.”

It’s not just their listeners with whom Ella and Sienna look to connect through their songs – though between them they’re fast-developing a solid professional relationship, they have a genetic relationship to consider with what they do. Interesting, then, that the girls don’t in fact write their music collaboratively.

“We’ve always written separately,” says Ella. “It’s weird because as a duo, people always assume we write together. If it is a song or idea that is more personal or vulnerable, we keep it personal and get all our own ideas out on the page, then we’ll come together to refine it.

“Otherwise, if the other person doesn’t quite have that same train of thought, we’ve found that it’s like ‘Urgh, but that’s not where I want to go!’ So, it’s good to get everything out and then bring it to each other.”

It’s that formula that Ella and Sienna have followed on their new single, It’s Not Me, It’s You. Clean country licks meet femme pop vocals; though some may call it a thematically ambitious track, its raw honesty is what makes it so good. It’s from Sienna’s experience of her first relationship that this unapologetic track stems from.

“Looking back at it, it wasn’t that deep, but I got really angry about it,” she explains.

“Sienna’s very, very good at taking a moment or something that happened and just being so dramatic!” Ella smiles at her sister, teasingly. “We get asked all the time as young musicians, ‘Where’s the life experience?’ but to write a good song, you don’t necessarily need to have lived it, you need to be able to put yourself in someone’s shoes who has felt all these crazy emotions.”

Ending with a laugh, Ella says, “but Sienna was quite angry! Yeah, I feel kind of bad because he wasn’t like, that bad, but then I make it sound really bad, but, oh well!”

You live, you learn, and in the case of Ella and Sienna, they document their oft remarked upon life experience as and when it occurs, marking down their trials, tribulations, and observations almost in real time rather than penning them in one block with several years in between.

“I feel like in our teenage years especially, there’s so much difference because we’re not fully adults yet,” Sienna reasons. “By documenting that in our song writing, it’s going to be very different to the stuff we’re going to create in the future. But I think that’s really cool because we’ll have this to look back on.”


Keep up to date with Ella & Sienna on their Facebook page here